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Obese And Unattractive Med School Students May Have A More Uncertain Future

Dr. Charles M. Maxfield surveyed four universities and the Mayo Clinic to investigate bias in medical school residency admissions.
Medical students perceived to be unattractive or obese face disrimination in residency program admissions.

Medical school graduates viewed as obese or unattractive were more likely to be rejected by residency programs, according to a new study by Duke Health researchers.

The study asked reviewers to assess more than 70 fictitious applications that paired a random photo with information including grades, test scores and accolades. Each reviewer saw a different application for the same photo, and results indicated that those who were viewed as obese or unattractive were less likely to be invited for an in-person interview. Those same reviewers were also more likely to choose African American or Latinx applicants over white or Asian applicants.

Radiologist Dr. Charles M. Maxfield compiled the results from four universities and the Mayo clinic, and he joins host Frank Stasio to talk about his research and his hopes to bring about more awareness about our biases. Maxfield is the vice chairman of education for Duke Radiology.

Dana is an award-winning producer who began as a personality at Rock 92. Once she started creating content for morning shows, she developed a love for producing. Dana has written and produced for local and syndicated commercial radio for over a decade. WUNC is her debut into public radio and she’s excited to tell deeper, richer stories.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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